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Issue 34, 2017
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Upconversion nanoparticle-decorated gold nanoshells for near-infrared induced heating and thermometry

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Abstract

The present work involves the design of a multifunctional system based on gold nanoshells (AuNSs) decorated with lanthanide-based upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) intended as an optical heater and a temperature probe at the nanoscale. The synthesis of NaGdF4 UCNPs doped with ions Yb3+:Er3+ was performed via thermal decomposition of lanthanide fluoride precursors at high temperatures (>300 °C) in the presence of a coordinating ligand (oleic acid). UCNPs were synthesized at three different temperatures (310, 315 and 320 °C) and characterized in terms of morphological, structural and emission properties. In view of the intended biological applications, the surface of hydrophobic oleate-capped UCNPs was modified using a silica coating to achieve sufficient water dispersibility, through a modified Stöber process using a reverse micro-emulsion method. Monodisperse NaGdF4:Yb3+:Er3+ upconversion nanocrystals (∼25 nm dia.) were obtained in cubic (at 310, 315 °C) and hexagonal (at 320 °C) phases. The UCNPs in the hexagonal phase were shown to be more suitable as temperature sensors, due to their lower red-to-green emission ratios and higher thermal sensitivities. The emission spectrum of NaGdF4:Yb3+:Er3+ (oleate- or silica-coated) UCNPs was recorded at different temperatures in the vicinity of the physiological range (20–70 °C) and presented suitable properties for application as temperature sensors, such as excellent linearity (r2 > 0.99) and sensitivity (>3 × 10−3 K−1). The heating capacity of AuNSs@UCNPs was verified by monitoring the Er3+ emission, showing their potential for application as a hyperthermia agent controlled using a nanothermometer function.

Graphical abstract: Upconversion nanoparticle-decorated gold nanoshells for near-infrared induced heating and thermometry

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Publication details

The article was received on 13 Jun 2017, accepted on 01 Aug 2017 and first published on 02 Aug 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TB01621B
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. B, 2017,5, 7109-7117
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    Upconversion nanoparticle-decorated gold nanoshells for near-infrared induced heating and thermometry

    K. Nigoghossian, S. Ouellet, J. Plain, Y. Messaddeq, D. Boudreau and S. J. L. Ribeiro, J. Mater. Chem. B, 2017, 5, 7109
    DOI: 10.1039/C7TB01621B

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